Genres: Telenovela
Broadcast on: Mzansi Magic, Mzansi Wethu



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Season 1

Channel Premiere Finale TX Time Episodes
Mzansi Magic 03 Apr 2017 29 Mar 2018 Monday-Thursday, 19h30 208
Mzansi Wethu 01 Oct 2018 26 Sep 2019 Monday-Thursday, 18h00 208

Season 1

Isithembiso is a South African telenovela created and produced by Bomb as a modern-day reimagining of the classic Little Red Riding Hood fairytale, with characters such as Simi (Red Riding Hood), Banzi (the Big Bad Wolf) and Zamani (the Woodcutter), who becomes the rescuer to the damsel in distress.

The series follows the lives of two young people who come to the City of Gold in search of not just their fortune but familial ties, opportunity and education. It's a millennial migrant story that digs deep into the lives of Mzansi youth today, their ambitions, choices and the consequences.

We meet Simi, the wide-eyed innocent maiden from KwaZulu-Natal. She comes to the dazzling iGoli in search of her mother and job opportunities where her path collides with the resourceful Zamani, whose street smarts and swag belie that he comes from a small village in Limpopo.

Through a series of incidents – from chance meetings to destructive choices – their lives intertwine with Banzi, whose "sheep's clothing" easily deceive the gullible Simi. Whether it's fate or bad luck, this culminates in an explosive climax that has long-lasting and life-changing consequences.

There are promises made and broken - promises of a better life, a brighter future, greater life choices... Ultimately, the idealistic filter through which the young look at life is ripped off to reveal that "all that glitters is not always gold".

Will the sheer determination and tenacity of borne out of youth and hope triumph over obstacles and the hard knocks of life?

Industry newcomers Nandi Mbatha (Simi) and Zamani Mbatha (Zamani) are the two young actors central to this telenovela, joining veterans Hamilton Dlamini (Banzi) and Meshack Mavuso (Kero Kunene), among others.

Main Cast

Nandi Mbatha as Simi

Newcomer Nandi Mbatha portrays tragic rural heroine Simlindile "Simi" Ngema, the teenage damsel in distress with an impetuous streak. Simi's move to Joburg goes pear-shaped from day one, and her fairytale looks set to NOT have a happy ending.

Zamani Mbatha as Zamani

Newcomer Zamani Mbatha plays his namesake Zamani, a young, good-hearted hero with a hunger and desire to be someone of value, who can often be reckless. He is a first-year Mining Engineering student and his heart and good-guy tendencies get him in sticky situations.

Hamilton Dlamini as Banzi

Hamilton Dlamini stars as the manipulative and ruthless Banzi "The Wolf of Braamfontein" Kunene, whose pursuit for power and respect knows no bounds - although his fragile male ego could be his undoing.

Meshack Mavuso as Kero

Meshack Mavuso plays the even-tempered Kero "The Lion of Pimville" Kunene. The polar opposite of his cutthroat brother Banzi, he is a humble father figure to most of the township youth.

Chichi Letswalo as Claudia

Chichi Letswalo plays Claudia Kunene, the wife of Banzi - a bird in a gilded cage who yearns to be free. She regrets leaving the unassuming Kero for the flashier Banzi, and wants her daughter to learn independence instead of relying on a man.

Tshenolo Seabi as Palesa

Tshenolo Seabi plays daddy's little princess, Palesa Kunene. She is spoilt, a bit arrogant and desperate to never disappoint her doting dad.

Lemogang Tsipa as Bambatha

Bambatha is young, arrogant and opinionated. He is what has come to be termed a "Clever Black".

Moneoa Moshesh as Jabulile

Moneoa Moshesh is the fast-talking, street-hustling Jabulile. Temperamental and easily distracted, she is a graduate of the "university of life".

Sboniso Nxumalo as Oscar

Oscar is Zamani's maternal uncle and security guard at Santa Barbara. All he wants is to save enough money to buy a taxi and quit the security job.

Bongani Maseko as Khaludja

Club bouncer Khaludja is a gentle giant with an expressionless face who just wants to provide for his family.

Farieda Metsileng as Kandy

Varsity student Kandy is good-hearted girl, demure and conservative. She is everyone's best friend.

Isithembiso was created by Bomb, with story by Angus Gibson, Kutlwano Ditsele, Phatu Makwarela and Gwydion Beynon. The executive producers for Bomb are Teboho Mahlatsi, Desireé Markgraaff and Angus Gibson.

Gibson and Ditsele are producers and directors include John Barker and Emile Smith. The head writer is David Gordon, with storyliners Charleen Ntsane, Daniel Zimbler, Justine Loots and Sayitsheni Mdakhi. The score was written by Philip Miller (with additional music by Mpilo Shabangu) and the title sequence track was written by ATM, Jabulani Sihle Makhubo and Mfanafuthi Ruff Nkosi.

Season 1 Cast

(scroll to bottom for available actor bios)


Yolisa Cele		...	Mpumi
Hamilton Dlamini	...	Banzi (as Hamilton Dhlamini)
Sicelo Dlamini		...	Diamond
Chichi Letswalo		...	Claudia
Nandi Mbatha		...	Simi
Zamani Mbatha		...	Zamani
Mxolisi Masango		...	Leo
Bongani Maseko		...	Karlujah
Sho Madjozi		...	Tsakane
Mavuso Magabane		...	Kero
Londeka Mchunu		...	Sne
Farieda Metsileng	...	Kandy
Nandi Nyembe		...	Dolly
Lungelo Nxele		...	Nothando
Sboniso Nxumalo		...	Oscar
Zimkhitha Nyoka		...	Anathi
Tshenolo Seabi		...	Palesa (as Nolo Seabi)
Mandla Shongwe		...	Johannes
Tiisetso Thoka		...	Ali
Lemogang Tsipa		...	Bambatha
Lizwi Vilakazi		...	Tiro
Nomsa Xaba		...	Gogo Ngema

Recurring / Guests

Nkopane Mohola		...	Rocky
Sibusiso Black Madondo	...	Abednego
Themba Lukhele		...	Heist Man 1
Nqiniso Mahlaba		...	Customer
Melusi Mbatha		...	Teenage Boy
Carol Mkhize		...	Amber
Oratile Moatshe		...	Tshepo
Phomolo Mokulele	...	Banzi Junior
Papi Phati		...	Security Marksman
Mfundo Thabethe		...	Gadget
Phillip Hlophe		...	Bra Kush (as Phillip Hlope)
Judith Mabotha		...	Girl
Vusi Mavuso		...	Taxi Rank Guard
Jan Makawane		...	Associate 1
Sabelo Miya		...	Mugger
Basetsana Moiloa	...	Administrator
Vusi Simelane		...	Prison Warder / Bra Kush's Warder
Vusi Xaba		...	Man in Car
Zoliswa Ngcingca	...	Cleaner
Smangaliso Mhlongo	...	Petrol Station Security Guard
Raymond Mabaya		...	Arresting Police Officer
Letsau Mohlatle		...	Sifiso
Thokozani Sithole	...	Police Officer
Andile Thabethe		...	Thug
Themba Lukhele		...	Heist Man 1
Carol Mkhize		...	Amber
Mlamli Maloi		...	Shopkeeper
Ontataile Semakane	...	Lebo
Lunga Nyembe		...	Resident / Thug 2
Shumi Madima		...	Blesser
Retlametswe Nankurona	...	Hope
Thato wa Magogodi	...	Maverick
Mondli Makhoba		...	Ganda-Ganda
Athi Ntanjane		...	SRC Member
Nelson Ntombela		...	Henchman
Samkelisiwe Hlophe	...	Chunks (as Samkelisiwe Hlope)
Msizi Ntuli		...	Weed Seller 1
Thabiso Ndlovu		...	Weed Seller 2
Zama Ngcobo		...	Cebisa
Ridwell Masekwameng	...	Vusi
Stephen Miyambu		...	Edmond Phiri
Grace Mavuso		...	Sne's Mother
Sandile Ncwane		...	Student
Phillip Gqitiyeza	...	Jonas
Bongani Vilakazi	...	Student
Kabelo Thai		...	Mr Molefi / Sello
Lunga Mnisi		...	Journalist
Athi Ntanjane		...	SRC Member
Ilunga Tshitende	...	SRC Convener
Simphiwe Ntshingila	...	Student (as Simphiwe Ntshinglia)
Kennedy Stab		...	Fingers
Belinda Thobi		...	Invigilator
Sydney Mpungose		...	Invigilator
Dominic Fundam		...	Prof Khuzwayo
Bheki Vilakazi		...	Bra Visto
Kim Booi		...	Salon Customer
Mbuyiseni Mbatha	...	Johannes' Friend 1
March Chonco		...	Johannes' Friend 2
Pascar Dube		...	Security Guard
Emmanuel Mokgabi	...	Kagiso (as Emmanual Mokgabi)
Bonga Dlamini		...	Nimrod
Vusi Twesha		...	Weed Seller
Noeleen Kaart		...	Student
Itumeleng Magodilelo	...	Thug
Lillian Dube		...	Ethel
Jessie Palmer		...	Nurse
Sharon Nkwana		...	Female Student
Xabiso Madini		...	Mr Sexy Tights
Nandipha Mlombi		...	Nurse
Themba Nofemele		...	Dr Buthelezi
Phemelo Motene		...	Lindi
Nomahlubi Mjanqeka	...	Miriam
Kwezi Ndlovu		...	Vivian
Mpho Tsotetsi		...	Thuto
Thato Dhladla		...	MK
Darren Kelfkens		...	Robert Banks
Fumani Shilubana	...	Mr Mboweni (as Fumani Shilubani)
Phumi Mncayi		...	Detective Cibane
Mlindelwa Mahlangu	...	Lawyer / Edmond Phiri
Tshepo Desando		...	Detective Motlante (as Tshepo Dosando)
Itumeleng Kwinda	...	Hair Salon Customer / Zonke
Tiisetso Phaweni	...	TV Reporter (as Tiietso Phaweni)
Simphiwe Madlala	...	Male Client 2
Edmund Ngema		...	Male Client 1 / Club Patron
Michelle Bradshaw	...	Cheryl Banks
Zukisa Matola		...	Kopano (as Zukiswa Malola)
Hastings Muravha	...	Loan Shark / Bheki
Tazz Nginda		...	Peter (as Tazz Ngida)
Isaac Hlatshwayo	...	Boxing Commentator
Knowledge Tshabalala	...	Little Matlala
Tracy Zungu		...	Bank Manager
Thabang Mojola		...	Squatter 1
Catherine Moekele	...	Squatter 2
Itumeleng Seshabela	...	Building Inspector
Claire Turya		...	Club Hostess
Thabo Mhlambi		...	Policeman
Nhlanhla Ndovela	...	Policeman
Pakamisa Zwedala	...	Mandla
Sphamandla Dhludhlu	...	Milner's Barman
Wandise Samela		...	Tenant
Siyabonga Nene		...	Jonas
Kate Seete		...	Salon Customer
Lawrence Joffe		...	Jake Dowes (as Lawrance Joffe)
Saint Seseli		...	MEC (as Lehlohonolo Saint Seseli)
Sindi Majola		...	Thuli (as Sindisiwe Rudi-Lynn Kambule)
Thabiso Lekoba		...	Uncle Sizwe
Francis Rangoajane	...	Dean
Charles Baloyi		...	Bra Linda
Ron Smerczak		...	Vice Chancellor
David James Bothma	...	Phillip Hartford
Mfiso Mngomezulu	...	Doc Mahlangu
Lerato Phango		...	Secretary
Abbey Malashe		...	Solomon
Jokoane Kgasago		...	Blesser
Ronald Mkwanazi		...	Bullet's Trainer
Joe Oumar		...	Bullet Maponya
Wandisile Swaartbooi	...	MK's Lawyer
Buhle Mazibuko		...	Beverly
Veronica Molapo		...	Metro Policewoman
Bheki Ngiba		...	Sangoma
Tiisetso Phaweni	...	News Reporter (as Tiiesto Phaweni)
Sokhulu Mthiyane	...	Cop (as Sokhulu Sanele Mthiyane)
Thandeka Masango	...	Regina / Salon Customer
Maureen Sesenymatse	...	University Official
Dumehezi Jordan Ndlovu	...	Alphonso 251
Basheer Mathala		...	Nhlamza (as Basheere Mathala)
Sipho Ndlovu		...	Bank Manager
Emmanuel Oberdele	...	Minora
Bathabile Kom		...	Nurse
Mandla Siqububu		...	Cop 1
Neo Mokgale		...	Cop 2
Bongani Tshabalala	...	Detective Mhlongo
Bongeka Dlamini		...	Wandi
Bongekile Dlamini	...	Lebo
Linda Mashinini		...	Dineo
Sibongile Mothasedi	...	Nosisi
Hlengiwe Xaba		...	Mmabatho
Emmanuel Gweva		...	Peanuts
Chumani Pan		...	Whitey
Thabang Matlhobogana	...	Policeman
Busani Mbili		...	Sgantsontso
Sihle Mhlongo		...	Simon / Warder
Humphrey Sigera		...	Inkabi
Kay Ralekgokgo		...	Hilda
Thato Mdakace		...	Pimp
Kgothatso Rasehlo	...	Delivery Man
Tshego Rathebe		...	Miranda / Prostitute
Precious Ndala		...	Sindi
Mangaliso Sauka		...	Businessman
Mduduzi Magaqula	...	Banzi's Warder
Kgotso Mathibela	...	Siyanda (as Kgotso Matibela)
Cebile Mlaba		...	Prosecutor Felicia Mabena (as Cebile Mlabi)
Siyabulela Mquda	...	Bouncer
Lulama Dingani		...	Nomvulo
Xolile Khumalo		...	Salon Customer 1
Kgotso Mathibela	...	Siyanda (also as Kgotso Matibela)
Kate Seete		...	Salon Customer 2
Gift Mkhonza		...	Bar Student
Nhlanhla Ndovela	...	Policeman 1
Thabo Mhlambi		...	Policeman 2
Peter Ucko		...	Judge
Gordan Khoza		...	Banzi's New Warder
Noluvuyo Mtshotshisa	...	Zaza / Radio DJ (as Noluvulo Mtshetshisa)
Jabulani Phambana	...	Jeremiah (as Jabulani Phamabana)
Xolile Maluka		...	Generous
Bongumusa Dlamini	...	Priest
Mphoenhle Mokoena	...	Generous' Client
Xolani Ngema		...	Inspector 1
Bongani Sibeko		...	Inspector 2
Itumeleng Montsho	...	Frank Sehume
Busiswa Mambi		...	Sis Betty
Lehlohonolo Seleka	...	Henchman 1
Thobani Mseleni		...	Henchman 2
Tim Dempsey		...	Male Intercom
John Herbert		...	Ukrainian
Puleng Ndlovu		...	Nurse TT
Ofentse Nakedi		...	Sibusiso
Thulani Msiza		...	Patrick
Paulinah Mphethahanyi	...	Mbali
Nandi Basela		...	Salon Client
Ayanda Jali		...	Hitman 1
Tshepo Ndaba		...	Gun Dealer
Nonsikelelo Mbika	...	Disgruntled Customer
Luyanda Goxo		...	Mamello
Palesa Nhlengethwa	...	Nthabiseng
Neil Abel		...	Businessman 1
Oleksandr Kravchuk	...	Businessman 2
Daniel van Niekerk	...	Businessman 3
Lehlogonolo Seleka	...	Assassin / Henchman 1
Siyabonga Xulu		...	Driver
Tsaketsane Mondlani	...	Vending Machine Girl
Mzi Nongwe		...	Guest Star
Galaletsang Koffman	...	Elevator Girl 1
Anita Sibozo		...	Jellybean Girl
Naledi Mogadime		...	Hot Babe 1 (as Naledi Mogadine)
Queen Madonsela		...	Hot Babe 2
Ishmael Maepa		...	Dodgy Doctor
Anele Mhlongo		...	KZN Female Student
Hloni Kutoane		...	Technician (as Hloni Kutuane)
Sandile Mnikathi	...	New Guard 1
Mfundo Mvintwa		...	New Guard 2
Kgaogelo Puthuga	...	Street Boy
Adrian Alper		...	Mantis (as Andrie Alper)
Xolani Bhala		...	Street Vendor
Refilwe Hine		...	Random Cute Girl (as Refilwe Hina)
Ntokozo Ndlovu		...	Cute Young Lady
Sipho Feni		...	Bartender
Anele Situlweni		...	Businessman 1
Andile Dlamini		...	Businessman 2
Anele Mhlongo		...	KZN Female Student
Bongani Mzobe		...	Security Guard
Sandile Mnikathi	...	Armed Guard 1
Mfundo Mvinjwa		...	Armed Guard 2
Mingi Ntshingila	...	Cleaning Lady
Nolwazi Hadebe		...	Radio News Reporter
Sibongile Mazibuko	...	New Nurse
Boitumelo Moalosi	...	Social Worker (as Boitumelo Molaosi)
Ishmael Mpeoa		...	Shady Doctor
Nompumelelo Mncube	...	Nurse Daphne
Lebogang Katane		...	Lead Cop
David Maaroganye	...	Doctor
Luzuko Nkqeto		...	Thamsanqa
Wesley Ngatana		...	Cop 2
Vusi Masilela		...	Prison Warder
Bheki Sizwe		...	Jonny Boy
Collen Magongwa		...	Lanky Inmate
Sikelela Mahlathini	...	Warder 2
Vincent Mahlangu	...	Cheezeboi
Tony Miyambo		...	Detention Officer (as Tony Miyamo)
Mamello Mohlamme	...	Prison Doctor (as Mamello Mohlamme Mabule)
Veronica Matlala	...	Anathi's Mom
Lusanda Mgoduka		...	Estate Agent (as Lusanda Mkgoduka)

Season 1 Cast

Banzi (as Hamilton Dhlamini)









Palesa (as Nolo Seabi)



Johannes (as Mandla Shongwe)


Gogo Ngema

Prison Warder


Sello Molefi

Prof Khuzwayo

Bra Visto




Dr Buthelezi

MK (as Thato DH Dhladla)

Robert Banks

Mr Mboweni (as Fumani Shilubani)

Detective Cibane

Male Client 1

Cheryl Banks

Kopano (as Zukiswa Malola)

Peter (as Tazz Ngida)


Jake Dowes (as Lawrance Joffe)

MEC (as Lehlohonolo Saint Seseli)

Thuli (as Sindisiwe Rudi-Lynn Kambule)

Bra Linda

Vice Chancellor

Detective Mhlongo



Prosecutor Felicia Mabena (as Cebile Mlabi)

Jeremiah (as Jabulani Phamabana)


Sis Betty

Henchman 2 (as Thobani Maselani)


Mantis (as Andrie Alper)

Edmond Phiri



Johnny Boy

Jellybean Girl

Phillip Hartford (as David James Bothma)



Milner's Barman



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